Emerging Risk Research Program

Helping solve challenges that were too difficult to quantify.

Research on Power Outages from Solar Storms

The research examined the potential that severe solar storms might affect the North American electrical grid and included:

  • assessing the risk of covered loss due to widespread, long-duration power outages
  • co-authoring a report published by Lloyds of London titled Solar Storm Risk to the North American Electrical Grid
  • developing a catalog of space weather-blackout scenarios for the United States

aer solar storm reportThe report Solar Storm Risk to the North American Electric Grid: A Lloyds Space Weather Study examines space weather risk to the electric grid and why this has important implications for the insurance industry.

After a brief explanation of the characteristics of geomagnetic storms, the report analyzes the likelihood of extreme geomagnetic storms, specific vulnerabilities of the North American power grid, the regions at highest risk from this complex natural hazard, and the implications for the insurance industry and society generally. Verisk scientists from Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) co-authored the Lloyds report.